Sunday 10 May 2015

Getting out of trouble and staying out of trouble when dealing with staff

Welcome to our third post in our series about business administration. As promised we are delving in to the reasons why, as employers we need to have a clear and concise staff handbook which outlines the rules and expectations of the business – and in return, what employees can expect from the business

Let's look at the difference between an employee contract and an employee handbook:
         A contract is a legally binding agreement. In the UK each employer is legally obliged to provide a written document that states what the employee is expected to do, what considerations they should expect such as pay, an amount of hours to be worked. This has seen the introduction of zero hour contracts because now, even casual workers are to be given a document that outlines the expectations of the employer. An employee contract is also known as a Statement of Particulars of Employment.
         A handbook can be less formal and should contain dress code policies, grievance procedures, health and safety regulations and disciplinary procedures.

We have all heard stories about unfairdismissal, employees complaining loudly “that's not my job” and “you never said that...” are all pointers that suggest that employers of any number of employees should have a handbook that can be easily accessed and updated.

Now let's move on to the implications of not having these documents available to your employees:
1.    If you do not have a statement of particulars of employment you are breaching employment law which can have legal implications. It is exceptionally important to run your business within the law.
2.    If employees are aware of the rules, whether they are in the contract or handbook they are more likely to follow them if they know about them.
3.    For breaches of company policy the consequences are set out and if the company polices have been signed by the employee then there can be no claim of ignorance.
4.    If these policies are not in place it can be difficult to sever a relationship with an employee who is not behaving or performing as required.
5.    If you are unable to sever the relationship it can be expensive to pay the wages of an employee you are having to carry and then of course there is the damage to your company reputation if the employee is not providing the service up to your required standard and it impacts on the customer.
The bottom line here is that it is far easier to deal with staff who are happy and content, and who know what is expected of them, rather than going through an employment tribunal – which, apart from being expensive and time consuming, will also take your focus from your primary reason for being at work – to run your business!

Blue Box Management Consultants have many years of experience helping businesses of all sizes to recruit and retain the right staff, increase productivity,  and to improve and maintain morale within organisations.

To learn more about Blue Box, the things we do and the people that we do it with, have a browse on our website at (and now you can also have a look at our sister company website at if you are an employer with a vacancy to fill, or you are an executive looking for your next challenging role)

If you want to contact us, please call any member of our team at 084 3289 3288 or email us at or we look forward to speaking with you soon

Until the next time, be bold and do good business!

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